Contents Index

mine -- mine to protect, love, and cherish

How well Victor Frankenstein fulfills what he considers his obligation by Elizabeth will unfold in the sequel. To some extent Mary Shelley is playing to a sentimental conception of ellective affinity in this portrayal, and certainly she is attempting from the start to strengthen the romantic attachment Victor feels for Elizabeth. At the same time, the extreme possessiveness of Victor's attitude is a characteristic from which, in her personal life, she would have recoiled; and it is therefore no unusual stretching of the rhetoric that would lead a reader to see in Victor's sense of duty an implicitly demeaning condescension that reinforces an inherently masculinist notion of power.